Those of us in college have all been down this road before, especially those of us who love our dear pets: the college of your choice doesn’t allow much beyond what lives underwater. Heartbroken, you wonder how you’ll get along without your favorite cat or dog to keep you company, plus you’re one of those people who don’t want to be stuck with a boring old fish. Need something to brighten up your room? Try a dwarf frog instead!
The dwarf frog, more widely known as the African Dwarf Frog, is a tiny frog that lives underneath the water all the time, except when it comes up to breath. This frog usually grows to no bigger than the size of a quarter. These frogs are livelier than fish, so they can provide you plenty of frog antics. The best part is they’ll only cost you around four dollars.
Searching for a dwarf frog isn’t easy-not every pet store carries them. Once you have located a pet store that does though, it’s time to select your frog. Usually you’ll find the frogs with the reptiles and fish, sometimes right near the bettas. When selecting a dwarf frog, it’s best to select the baby ones. Resist the urge to select the biggest frog. This is usually not the best option because the ages of these frogs are highly unknown. Selecting a younger frog gives you a better estimate of your frog’s age. Once you’ve looked over the young frogs, it’s still not time to just pick the one you like best. To find a healthy frog, you must search for the most active frog. These will constantly be swimming around, and bolt at the slightest movement of the cup. A young and active frog is the best combination for your pet.
Now that you’ve chosen your frog, it’s time to buy supplies for him. A one gallon tank will do. Your frog will need plenty of room to swim around, and a small bowl simply won’t do. In your tank you’ll need gravel and a few plants or a small hiding ornament. Dwarf frogs love to have hiding places. A water filter isn’t necessary, but recommended. The last item you will need is a bottle of chlorine neutralizer that you will add to the water once it has been placed in the new tank.
Next comes purchasing food. Never feed your dwarf frog fish flakes or betta pellets. These frogs are very picky eaters. Betta pellets tend to sink to the bottom before the frog can get at them and only cloud the tank. The best option is to feed your frog freeze-dried blood worms. This food will float on the top of the water until the frog is ready to eat and won’t cloud your tank. Any pet store will carry this food and a small bottle costs around three dollars.
Once your frog is home, it’s time to begin setting up the tank. Prepare the tank as you would any fish tank. Add the gravel and plant before filling it with water. Use only cool water for your frog. Once the water is in place, add the chlorine neutralizer. You only need five drops. Finally, set up the water filter per the instruction manual and your tank is now good to go. Add your frog and enjoy!
Caring for your new pet is very easy. Make sure you feed your frog the freeze-dried bloodworms every other day and keep an eye on their activity levels. It is best to clean the tank around every three weeks and the water filter will need cleaned each month. When it is time to clean your tank, remove your frogs to a bowl first, using the same water as was in the tank. Make sure that you wash everything with warm water without soap. Clean any plants in the tank, and sieve the rocks from the tank to remove any debris hidden within them. Set the tank up again as you did when you first brought home your frog, and don’t forget the chlorine neutralizer. Return the frog to the tank, adding in some of the old water to keep your frog from going into shock.
After you’ve had your frog for awhile, you may begin thinking about getting another frog to keep the first one company. This is a great idea. These frogs are very sociable creatures, and love having more in the tank. When finding another frog for purchase, follow the same guidelines as above. However, you must consider your tank size before making your purchase. If you are getting another frog, you must have at least a two gallon tank, if not more. A rule of thumb to follow is a gallon for every frog. If a tank upgrade is necessary, then make sure you have a new one before purchasing a new frog.
You’ll find your frog or frogs to be enjoyable entertainment. These frogs tend to strike a relaxed position in the water, where they’ll float with limbs outstretched. This is sometimes referred to as a Zen-like position. Don’t worry; your frog isn’t dead, just relaxing. If you are uncertain, you can poke the frog with a net and find that he will move quickly to avoid your net.
If cared for properly, your frog will live for around three or four years. You’ll notice that their time is coming when they begin to slow down and don’t move as they used to. The final sign of death is a bloated frog floating in the tank. If you find a dead frog, make sure you remove the other frogs from the tank and clean it thoroughly with warm water.
Remember, if you college only allows pets that live underwater, the African Dwarf Frog is the only unique pet for you. Easy care makes life a little simpler for any college student. And, unlike a dog, you’ll never have to worry about walking your frog ever!